In the NFL 2014 Draft the Oakland Raiders have the fifth pick overall and there are many avenues on where the team can go with their first pick. With the NFL draft less than 90 days away we definitely can start to speculate on the offseason moves for the team.
There are many mock drafts out there making an analysis on what the Oakland Raiders will do with their first pick in the NFL Draft. As fans know general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen are on thin ice. Owner Marc Davis will give his head men a fighting chance to prove their worth and value to bring back the Raiders to the commitment of excellence they once had in the league. Without the Silver and Black as villain’s, the NFL just has not felt the same.
The Raiders strongly need a number one receiver, but as Oakland fans recall they supposedly gave their future number one receiver to Indianapolis due his lack of production.
Darius Heyward Bey is nothing compared to the talented young man out of Clemson Sammy Watkins but truthfully the Silver and Black need a lot more than a young number one receiver to build around. First the Raiders need a quarterback to accurately throw him the ball and the players around him to protect that signal caller. Also, folks he comes with some baggage, yes that’s right, Watkins was arrested and handcuffed. Do the Raiders really want another poor character guy, thought McKenzie was set to remove all the nonsense.
Therefore, let’s not jump on wide receiver as the first choice the draft is deep with receivers. Of course, ESPN draft analysis Mel Kiper is glued to that pick for the Raiders and sure Watkins will have a successful career but just not with Oakland. Adding a solid veteran wide receiver in free agency will be the right direction. In actuality, there is simply no time to build.
Selecting a quarterback in the first round for the Raiders is not a poor choice, they do need a leader on offense, but having three young quarterbacks and Trent Edwards is not exactly what GM Reggie McKenzie or head coach Dennis Allen have planned. The only way this happens is if the starter currently, Terrell Pryor is traded or released outright.
Then it all comes down to the draft or maybe a veteran free agent, there are a couple decent players out there with the experience to push the young guns in the right direction. None of this is probably going to lead to a Super Bowl, but at least it is a step in the correct direction.
At least Kiper’s partner in crime McShay went with a solid need in one of his most recent mock drafts, a quarterback, which makes more sense. Let us be honest, all of us know Johnny Manziel to the Raiders won’t happen.
If all of the top three quarterbacks are gone before the Raiders pick and if Jadaveon Clowney is available, he will be selected at five. He’s the top prospect on most of NFL draft boards.
Remember the Raiders play in the AFC West, where Pro Bowl quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith preside and this may be the best choice.
But if Clowney is not there, The Raiders should take the next best thing, either an offensive tackle or look to draft a player to help on the defensive line.
Two of the top tier offensive line prospects are Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson. The Raiders line is the weak the trenches up front can certainly use an upgrade to provide protection to whoever the newest signal caller is.
At the same time the Raiders need pass rusher that can consistently get to the ball carrier, The Raiders defense is missing the potency and power that is needed on defense. IF Kahil Mack or Anthony Barr is available Oakland should not shy away from them, they are both solid picks. Just remember defense wins championships. The Seattle Seahawks proved that this year.
These two positions are solid early first round safe selections.
The Raiders need to stop thinking about building a team for the future, The Raiders need to compete now, they need to draft someone who can come in and start right away, and make a major impact right away.
NFL Draft Insiders Choice: DE Jadaveon Clowney, South Carolina